The Primary Care Cannabis Network becomes part of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians SocietyMarch 17, 2023 | IN NEWS | BY Kate Thorpe
The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society is pleased to announce that the Primary Care Cannabis Network (PCCN) has become a part of our Society. This is an important step forward in our mission to normalise the conversation around medical cannabis and increase clinician knowledge of this treatment in the UK. We look forward to working together towards our shared goals.
Continuing and developing the work of the PCCN
The PCCN was set up in November 2019 by GP Dr Leon Barron to provide GP education in medical cannabis. Striving to increase knowledge and open dialogue, the PCCN worked to create an environment of balance and understanding around this rapidly developing field of medicine within primary healthcare. Its goals – to eradicate stigma associated with medical cannabis and improve the primary care sector’s comfort in discussing treatment options with patients – are aligned with the vision and mission of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society.
In order to better meet our joint goals, the Society has welcomed the PCCN and its members into the Society. By educating and supporting general practitioners (GPs) with current guidelines and evidence-based medicine, the Society can ensure that primary care providers have access to the most up to date resources to enable informed conversations with patients.
The integration of the PCCN with the Society will give every clinician the opportunity to be part of the biggest network of healthcare professionals dedicated to expanding access to medical cannabis treatment through education and support.
The role of GPs in the widespread understanding of medical cannabis as a treatment option
As the frontline in patient access to specialist clinicians, GPs have a crucial role to play in the understanding and acceptance of medical cannabis as a treatment option for patients in the UK.
Why should GPs be open minded about talking to patients who are self medicating with cannabis in the UK?
GPs should be open minded about talking to patients who are self medicating with cannabis because it is becoming increasingly accepted in the UK as an effective means of treating various health conditions.
Can GPs prescribe medical cannabis in the UK?
Currently in the UK, prescriptions for unlicensed cannabis based medicines can only be initiated by a doctor on the GMC specialist register (consultants) and must be initiated on a private prescription. Unlike most other countries across the globe where medical cannabis is legal, current UK legislation does not permit GPs to initiate treatment for medical cannabis. However, GPs can play an important role in the management and monitoring of their patient’s use of medical cannabis, and a GP can prescribe under shared care arrangements under the direction of a specialist.
Comprehensive education and support for GPs through the Society
The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society is an important resource for clinicians in regards to the education, peer support, and guidance related to medical cannabis use. Through the integration of the PCCN, a new sub group will be formed to provide GP focussed education and peer support.
All the resources from the PCCN will be available via the Society website. This includes access to evidence-based information and practical resources.
In addition, the Society will provide opportunities for GPs to network with peers and discuss the opportunities for GP prescribing of medical cannabis within a supportive environment.
PCCN Members – Join the Society today
Joining the Society provides GPs with access to training and resources from leading experts in the field. In addition, members can benefit from ongoing support and guidance on prescribing medical cannabis, as well as staying up to date with changing regulations. The Society also organises regular events for members to exchange ideas and discuss best practices in medical cannabis.
As members, GPs can ensure they are up to date with the latest evidence-based information in this field and help their patients access effective medical cannabis treatments.
Current members of the PCCN are invited to become members of the Society at no cost for the first year of membership.